Tendulkar post-retirement

Since his retirement from professional cricket, Sachin Tendulkar has been involved in various welfare activities.

Sachin Tendulkar... a busy man even after retirement.   -  NAGARA GOPAL

For 24 years, Sachin Tendulkar assumed an active space in the Indian sporting landscape as the most prominent figure in the most popular sport in the country. His presence was so influential that a journalist had once remarked, “With Tendulkar gone, half of Indian cricket will die”.

Since his retirement from professional cricket, it seems unusual not to find Tendulkar facing bowlers — fast and slow — on television, or his cricket discussed in the newspapers. However, during this period, he has devoted his time and energy for various activities, with the major ones being:

* Tendulkar set off to the North Indian hill station of Mussoorie with his family immediately after playing his final international match, his 200th Test. He is said to have a liking for snacks from a particular shop in the Lal Tibba area of the town.

* He was conferred the Bharat Ratna — the highest honour to an Indian civilian by the Government of India — in February, 2014, along with scientist Prof. C. N. R. Rao.

* Tendulkar bought the Indian Super League (ISL) team, Kerala Blasters, in November, 2013. The team finished the inaugural league as runner-up.

*In June, 2014, he played a limited-overs charity match at Lord’s, representing the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), against a Rest of the World XI. The match was organised to commemorate the bicentenary of the club. He scored 44 before being bowled by Muttiah Muralitharan.

* His much-anticipated autobiography, Playing It My Way, co-authored by sports analyst Boria Majumdar, was released in November, 2014. He donated Rs. 25 lakh from the proceeds of the book to the Mumbai-based NGO Apnalaya.

* He adopted a village in Andhra Pradesh under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana. Puttamraju Kandriga, some 150 kilometres from Chennai, has since seen a change with new infrastructure.

* Tendulkar was made the brand ambassador of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, an initiative of the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. As part of his role in the project, he recorded a song along with Shankar Mahadevan, Prasoon Joshi and Babul Supriyo.

* With Shane Warne, Tendulkar planned a series of Twenty20 matches in the US named Cricket All Stars, an initiative to get erstwhile cricketers playing together. Warne's Warriors defeated Sachin's Blasters 3-0.

* He was appointed the honorary Group Captain of the Indian Air Force in October, 2015 — the first sportsperson to be given such honour.

* Tendulkar, who is associated with Maharashtra cricket, gifted an autographed bat to Pranav Dhanawade, who scored 1000 runs in schools cricket, and later, arrived in Pune to encourage the Mumbai team ahead of its Ranji Trophy final.

* For the Mumbai Railway Police, he has spread word on passenger safety as part of two initiatives — SAMEEP (Safety Alert Messages Exclusively for Passengers) and B-Safe. He has also helped spread awareness on road safety.

* Tendulkar was named the Brand Ambassador of the 2015 World Cup. He gave away the prizes of Man of the Match and the Man of the Series during the presentation ceremony after the final, to huge cheers from the crowd. Ahead of the World Twenty20 earlier this year, he participated in a joint initiative by the International Cricket Council and the UNICEF.

* Tendulkar lent support to a water conservation initiative, led by Bollywood actor Aamir Khan. He has also endorsed the ‘Skill India’ campaign, an impetus to ensure conditions for a better, skilled India.

* A movie on Sachin Tendulkar, titled 'Sachin: A billion dreams' is set to be released soon. A teaser video of the movie released on social media on April 14, 2016, has gone viral.

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